Sunday, August 09, 2009

summer blog break...

(quick note post I been meaning to send. no pix so I can get it out of my draft box but I'll make up for it in the subsequent post!)

Away doin' some more learnin' this summer. Does it ever end? Nope. Not if, like me, you know there is more you need to learn... in merry old England where my (philosophical) beloved, JL Austin rests in peace, icons RADA, the Globe, the West End, Southbank... all that stuff reside. I think, with the exception of the newly expanded London City, I've used all of the airports around London. (Heathrow's the worst.)

While at the library I went to see the Henry VIII exhibit at the British Library (too much of The Tudors tv show, probably -- I swear I have had enough of that man and *his* drama).

Know what sight actually choked me up though? Seriously? Seeing a copy of the Magna Carta. That joint was deep! Also at the British Library. It was also really nice to see the Shakespeare stuff. Luckily for me, it was my second time seeing a Gutenberg Bible. (Yale's Beinecke Library has one in glorious display) so I can say I've seen that on two continents, but that Magna Carta -- really was something. Not much of it is relevant today since it focused on concretizing aspects of feudal law but this is the part that really stands out:

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled . nor will we proceed with force against him . except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

(excerpt from the highlighted portion presented at the British Library)

For a while, we got so close to this being rescinded by the capricious will of a dubious leader. I know we're supposed to be all "let bygones be bygones" now that we have a new President but when I saw that copy it reminded me of how dangerously close to the-end-of-everything we got.

Now I *know* that this touching Magna Carta-type deal isn't quite as concrete for some of us as it is for others. I know that. But for all human rights efforts one of our greatest weapons have been the *inconsistentcy* between law and practice. If the laws on the books are insane (and so many of them remain -- developed throughout the past eight years or earlier -- and must be rescinded immediately) it's really hard to appeal to the equal rights based on the contradictions between law and practice.

coda: I mean, y'all see how crazy folks are acting just bringing out the KKK in hicksville. Fortunately, that Chicago hawk makes tough hides on the residents. As they say "God willin' and the creek don't rise", the Prez will get it goin' and struggling folks'll have some healthcare and other inalienable rights.